Putting a price on house­work

The Star Early Edition - - WORLD -

AS YOU toil away do­ing the wash­ing, iron­ing and school run, it can eas­ily feel like your fam­ily take your hard work for granted.

So it may come as some so­lace to know that the value of house­work – and the amount it con­trib­utes to the econ­omy – is to be given full recog­ni­tion by the Of­fice for Na­tional Statis­tics (ONS).

Ex­perts have cal­cu­lated how much var­i­ous tasks would cost if you had to pay some­one else to do them.

So far they have found that laun­dry ser­vices, in­clud­ing mak­ing, re­pair­ing, wash­ing, dry­ing and press­ing clothes, were worth £97.2 bil­lion (R1.691 tril­lion) in the UK in 2012. Of that, wash­ing and dry­ing ac­counted for £86.3bn. In­for­mal child­care – mean­ing free care from par­ents and other rel­a­tives – was said to be worth £343bn in 2010. This is about three times the con­tri­bu­tion of the fi­nan­cial ser­vices in­dus­try.

House­hold trans­port in­clud­ing the school run was worth £269bn in 2010. In­for­mal adult care was worth £61.7bn in 2010.

Bri­tons also car­ried out more than 2 bil­lion hours of vol­un­tary work in 2012, in­clud­ing rais­ing money for char­ity and run­ning groups, val­ued at £23.9bn.

Va­lerie Fen­der, head of eco­nomic well-be­ing at the ONS, be­lieves the “un­paid econ­omy” is worth about the same as the GDP, which is the prin­ci­pal means of de­ter­min­ing the fi­nan­cial health of the UK. – Daily Mail

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